This week on AEW programming we are into the post-Riho era of the women’s division, which saw a big star returning to our screens and an interesting three-way confrontation over the AEW Women’s World Championship.
There was a few decent happenings on AEW Dark so a little bit about that first. The show featured two of AEW’s biggest and brightest stars, Kris Statlander returning to the AEW ring after a few weeks away and Big Swole back in action after her defeat to Nyla Rose in January.
Diamante returned to face off against Kris Statlander and the debuting Kristy James took on Big Swole.
Let us get to the action.
Statlander vs Diamante was first and it started off with the usual alien, nose-boop shenanigans, which Diamante was having none of and slapped Statlander hard.
Statlander would dominate early on and mix up some strong and savage offence with more comedic spots as she stuck Diamante with an intergalactic double wet willy.
The match was all Statlander as she used her size, strength and speed to easily overthrow Diamante and finish her off with the Big Bang Theory for the 1,2,3.
Good to see Kris Statlander back in the ring and back to winning ways. Both Excalibur and Taz put her over big time on commentary and deservedly so as this was a great showing from the galaxy’s greatest alien. Now that the Nightmare Collective nonsense has dissipated she can back into title contention.
Later in the show we got the debut of Christi Jaynes who faced off against Big Swole. Jaynes and Swole tied up and fought for position. After a few shoulder tackles and hip tosses Swole would the better of Jaynes but would take too long atop the turnbuckle and suffer an enziguri for her hesitation. Swole would recover and hit a headbutt, high-kick and pump kick lead into the ripcord rolling elbow to put the tenacious Brazilian away.
A good solid match that gave Big Swole a win to help her climb the table into title contention. Jaynes got a nice bit of exposure here and her attitude and charisma make her one to look for in the future.
On AEW Dynamite we got our second helping of Kris Statlander, which is never a bad thing in my book. The galaxy’s greatest alien took on the returning Shanna in a match that had Britt Baker on commentary. Baker would continue to pick on Tony and even brought him a Starbucks style coffee cup with his name spelt incorrectly on it. Really enjoying Baker in this role. Good stuff.
While Jim Ross buried the gimmick the two competitors tied up until Statlander’s cartwheel spot that was followed by a nose-boop-off much to the fan’s enjoyment.
The action picked up pace as the two begin to trade strikes, running knees, and uppercuts. Statlander would dominate throughout but Shanna was no pushover capturing Statlander in a dragon sleeper before tying her upside down and hitting a top rope double stomp for a two count.
Shanna spiked Statlander with a vicious DDT before delivering a brutal dropkick to to the face for a near fall. Statlander would recover and drop Shanna with the Big Bang Theory for the win.
Good, strong match that showed both competitors in a good light. Statlander going over was the right call as AEW need to build her back up to where she was before the whole Nightmare Collective debacle.
Next up Tony Schiavone interviewed the new AEW Women’s World Champion, Nyla Rose. After insulting the crowd, Rose stated that she “breaks bitches” and now that she has the championship no one can take it off her. Statlander would interrupt and get in Rose’s face pointing at the belt before Big Swole would do same.
This was a decent and effective promo from Rose, who certainly has a lot to vent about due to the myriad of dumb comments made about her after winning the title last week. The involvement of Big Swole and Statlander both stepping up to add themselves into title contention was a nice touch and now with a champion that is around regularly, we can hopefully see some storyline feuds begin to build as AEW heads to Revolution on Jan. 29.
During the main event cage match between Cody and Wardlow we see Brandi accompanying her husband to the ring and get involved with MJF during the match.
Winner: Kris Statlander
Picking up two victories in as many days is the perfect way to return to our screens for Statlander. AEW did the right thing in removing her from television for a few weeks to allow the stench of the Nightmare Collective fade away. I understand the alien gimmick is rather polarizing but I feel that her look, style and quality in the ring overcome any negative feeling that some people may have about her intergalactic persona. It seems as though we may be getting a Big Swole vs. Kris Statlander match for the number one contender spot or possibly a triple threat against Nyla for the title at Revolution, any of which I am fully down for. Good to have the galaxy’s greatest alien back on TV and back to winning ways.
There isn’t going to be a loser today as there wasn’t really anyone that can be clarified as a loser on this show. Even in defeat, Shanna looked really good and she was wearing Goku style ring gear, which was amazing.
A good show that furthered the challenge for the title. We now that we have a champion that is on television regularly, can cut a good promo and is decent in the ring. Combine that with a roster of hungry and talented performers and we have ourselves a division that could thrive and excel in 2020. Onward and upward.